By Joe Darby
For the last couple of days I’ve just been lying around, trying to rid myself of a little bug (nothing serious), and just taking it easy in general.
Taking it easy gives a person more time to think and here’s a couple of thoughts that have been bouncing around in my head lately. You might agree with them. And you might not.
Firstly, the tragedies of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe Bryant and his daughter, as well as the plane crash that took the life of LSU offensive coach Steve Ensminger’s daughter-in-law, illustrate how much of a celebrity society we have become.
I understand how the media had to play these sad events. When a celebrity dies unexpectedly, along with others, the media will naturally tend to focus on the crash victim who is known to the public. particularly when they are well liked and respected. One of the greatest basketball players of all time, a man who by all accounts was also a good man and a good father, has died violently, along with his young teenage daughter, taken before their time. Likewise, a vibrant and well-liked young sports reporter, with connections to another well known athletic figure, is taken suddenly from her family and friends.
The public wants, and needs, to know about these tragic deaths. And yet. And yet when I read of these events and the story informs us that the celebrity — and others — have been killed, it gives me pause.
I know there is no intention to belittle the loss of “the others,” but I still get the feeling that their lives are not given the proper respect as those of the well-known figures. We see images of hundreds of wreaths being placed to honor Bryant and his daughter. But there is no coverage, as far as I have seen, of the grief that is being felt by the loved ones of “the others.” And in many news accounts “the others” remain nameless. They are just, well, just “the others.”
If I had a loved one who died in an incident along with a celebrity, I would want to holler out, “Hey, what about the person that I knew and loved? Her life mattered too.”
The other thought that occurred to me this week is this. When the United States won its independence in 1776, the new nation’s population was, I believe, something like 2.5 million. Out of that number, which is smaller than many cities of today, the little country produced George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin and many others who were instrumental in winning America’s independence, creating a new government and then governing the new nation.
What an amazing group of leaders, world-class statesmen, was formed by that little baby country. What talent, what virtue, what wisdom, they had. And all from 2.5 million people!
Today, we have a population of some 330 million. So if 244 years ago we could produce the brilliant Founding Fathers from such a relatively small number of people, one would think that with about a third of a billion people today, we could find some truly great leaders.
But we don’t have any of those. The man in the White House, even if you agree with some of his policies and accomplishments, is an obnoxious bully, a crude embarrassment whose behavior would have doubtless appalled Washington, Adams, Jefferson and company. And the slate of people the Democratic Party has come up with to run against Donald Trump is just as sad. A cranky old socialist, a woman who is so far left she would never have been considered for office just a few years ago, a small-town mayor who has never managed anything larger than a small city hall, and a bumbling, aged former vice-president. This is the best the opposition can offer?
It’s truly sad, folks. I hope I feel better soon, so I’ll have less time to think.